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Salubrious Scoop: 14 ways to prevent a hangover

With Christmas parties just around the corner, I felt this was a great topic to present this week.

With Christmas parties just around the corner, I felt this was a great topic to present this week.  Most people will be indulging in some sort of festive drink over the next month or so, so I want to make sure you know how to wake up feeling a bit better than usual under the circumstances. 

Here are 14 scientifically supported ways to help deal with that hangover — or even prevent it from happening at all!

1. Go one for one with water.  It’s no secret that drinking water can help deflect a pounding headache in the morning. Tissues around the brain are mostly made of water, about 85% in fact, and dehydration will shrink these tissues, creating pressure in the head. Alcohol dehydrates the body and brain, so make sure to continuously drink water throughout the night. Drink a glass of water in between each cocktail to avoid any next-day pain.

2. Eat Hearty.  Drinking on an empty stomach will allow alcohol to absorb faster, so try getting in a good meal with lots of healthy carbs before breaking out the bottle. Some research even shows a stomach full of food may help keep blood alcohol content at a lower level.

3. Drink it light.  Darker drinks like red wine or rum contain congeners (substances produced during fermentation), which may contribute to causing hangovers. Skip the whiskey in favor of vodka or a glass of white wine!

4. Don’t chince out.  More expensive liquors contain less filler congeners— a cause for headaches. So pass on the ‘bottom of the well’ liquor and take it up a notch with some top-shelf booze.

5. Take a multivitamin.  Alcohol depletes B vitamins and folate.  Take a multi or a B-Complex, or even both! By replenishing these vitamins you’ll reduce the ‘big head’ effects of a hangover.

6. Detox the liver.  Taking an organic Milk Thistle supplement before you start drinking and after you’re done will help the liver flush the alcohol toxins from the body much quicker.  If you’re really feeling the effects in the morning still, take another capsule to flush the body all day.

7. Skip the bubbles.  Opt out of champagne or other alcohol that’s mixed with carbonated beverages. The bubbles may cause alcohol to be absorbed more quickly (hence that New Year’s Day hangover).  With carbonated beverages, the sugar content amplifies the effects of a hangover.

8. Meditate and breathe.  Breathing and meditation exercises in yoga can get oxygen flowing and blood pumping to help relieve stress. The circulation can make you feel a bit better.

9. Grab some potassium.  When dehydrated, we lose not only water, but electrolytes, too. Replenish them by snacking on potassium-rich foods like bananas or spinach.

10. Eat eggs.  Eggs contain taurine, which has been shown to reverse liver damage caused by a night of heavy boozing. Scramble them up with lots of veggies for added antioxidant power!

11. Sip ginger tea.  Hangovers can sometimes be accompanied by an upset stomach and nausea. To settle that nausea, steep a warm mug of ginger tea. Ginger has been shown to help combat nausea.

12. Reset your insulin levels.  Alcohol leads to a drop in blood sugar, so boost it back up with a glass of OJ in the morning!

13. Get some fresh air.  Oxygen increases the rate that alcohol toxins are broken down, so bundle up and get outdoors. A little exercise never hurt anyone— and it may even release some endorphins to boost a post-hangover mood.

14. Play D.D.  Sorry to say that the only sure-fire way to avoid a hangover is to skip the booze altogether. So if waking up to a pounding headache or making out with the porcelain bowl doesn’t sound fun, play designated driver for the night (even if not actually driving).  Drink ‘virgin’ cocktails so you still feel like you’re participating in the party, but you’ll be the one waking up fresh and chipper and actually get things done the next day!

Safe and happy holidays everyone!